Ramana Maharshi (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950) was an Indian sage and jivanmukta. He was born Venkataraman Iyer, but is most commonly known under the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. He was born in what is now Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu, India. In 1895 an attraction to the holy hill Arunachala and the 63 Nayanars was aroused in him, and in 1896, at the age of 16, he had a "death-experience" in which he became aware of a "current" or "force" (avesam) which he recognised as his true "I" or "self", which he later identified with Ishvara. This resulted in a state which he later described as "the state of mind of Iswara or the jnani." Six weeks later he left his uncle's home in Madurai, and journeyed to the holy mountain Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai, where he took on the role of a sannyasin (though not formally initiated), and remained for the rest of his life. He soon attracted devotees who regarded him as an avatar and came to him for darshan ("the sight of God"), and in later years an ashram grew up around him, where visitors received upadesa ("spiritual instruction") by sitting silently in his company and raising their concerns and questions. Since the 1930s his teachings have been popularised in the west, resulting in worldwide recognition as an enlightened being.